Funeral - Praesentialis in Aeternum (Season of Mist)
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
There is something mystical about the Norwegian language. The way the words sway and flow easily bring to mind mighty forests and fjords that make up Norway itself. And with this comes an overwhelming sense of isolation: not negative, but one that makes a person reflect on their life and the world around them.
Since 1991, Norway's own Funeral has worked to better define this sensation and, through their latest release Praesentialis In Aeternum (Season of Mist), prove once again that there is always more to explore.
A pioneering band in the funeral doom metal genre, along with Finnish legends Thergothon and Skepticism, Funeral began to cross over into the gothic metal genre as far back as 2001's In Fields of Pestilent Grief, taking on tones akin to My Dying Bride. The band would venture further into goth territory with the incredible From These Wounds in late 2006.
What makes Praesentialis In Aeternum, which translates from Latin to "Present In Forever", unique from the start is that this is Funeral's first album sung exclusively in Norwegian. From this, vocalist Sindre Nedland serves as a guide, navigating the listener through dense, foggy paths deep in the woods.
While injecting more of the classic doom elements into each song, which clock in at no less than six minutes each, there is a guitar solo over harmonic riffs in "Materie" that enters epic territory worthy of a nod from Candlemass.
One thing about any of Funeral's releases is that they are an experience; one single track cannot be easily picked out and dissected. That said, the marching rhythms of "Erindring I - Hovmod" continue a style first heard on From These Wounds, yet, this section runs right into an uncanny horn break and a soaring guitar solo. Part two of this song slows down the tempo and brings back the horns, creating a feeling of dread like a child racing home as the sun sets might have.
Gothic-doom metal is best listened to in one sitting, be it while hiking or writing at home on a rainy day. Not unlike classical music, to interrupt the session would take away from the feeling the composer tries to bring to life. In this case, Funeral invites you to walk with them through an enchanted realm of solitude with a Norwegian backdrop.
Metal Mayan rating: 4.5/5
The beautiful songwriting and incredible recording quality deliver a magnificent example of Funeral's brand of doom metal. For me, From These Wounds will forever be the perfect album, but I am excited to see Funeral back in action after nine years since the last we heard from them.
With a label like Season of Mist on their side, I hope more metal fans are introduced to this incredible band.
Visit your local record store and pick up a copy of Praesentialis In Aeternum, out now on Season of Mist.